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Outpatient General Anesthesia

Drawing of a child sleeping under a giant leaf with a heart-shaped pillow

Outpatient General Anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation or I.V. sedation. General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes inserted, or hernia repaired. This is performed in a hospital or the dental office with an anesthesiologist. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks.

Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, and swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.

Prior To Your Appointment

  1. Please notify us of any change in your child’s health. Do not bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.

  2. You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking, and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.

  3. Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.

  4. Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.

  5. The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical site waiting room during the complete procedure.

After the appointment

  1. Your child will be sleepy or groggy and needs to be watched all day long. Keep your child indoors and away from stairs and other areas of potential harm.

  2. Do not allow your child to travel unrestrained in a car. It is best if another responsible person can be with you to assist with your child.

  3. Avoid rocking motions to the head to prevent motion sickness.

  4. Your child should be in the room with you at all times during the early recovery period. Their face should be visible at all times, even when sleeping. Their head should be tilted back slightly to keep their airway open. When driving home, do not allow their head to slump down.

  5. At first, it is best to give your child sips of clear room temperature liquid such as soda or other liquids you know will prevent nausea. Their first meal should be light and easily digestible. Soup is a good choice.

  6. If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.

  7. To control pain, you can give children’s ibuprofen (Advil) every four hours.

  8. Call our dental office and give us a status report. We will also make an appointment at that time for a checkup at our office.

  9. Should any unusual situation arise, or should you have any questions, please contact us.